Let me ask you a question.
What if you died by drowning...and then returned to life?
And what if you also died a second time by lightning?
And a third time by freezing?
After being declared clinically dead three times, and then miraculously returning to life three times...what kind of person would you be? How would you feel about death? Life? Love? Purpose?
I’m TL Hines, and those very questions led me to write Waking Lazarus, my first novel. It was released to very kind reviews, and even selected by Library Journal as one of the “25 Best Genre Books of the Year.” You can read more about the book (and my other books), along with reviews from Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and dozens of readers, on Amazon.
I’ve fielded interest in film rights several times. None of those times ever led to a production, and each time...I always felt a bit of relief. Without consciously realizing it, I think I’ve always wanted to take on the challenge of bringing it to the screen someday.
Well, someday is today. Director of Photography Trevin Spencer and I have assembled a team of butt-kickingly awesome people to create the feature film version of Waking Lazarus. And we’re hoping you'll add your name to that list of butt-kicking awesomeness.
I’ve worked with Trevin for more than nine years. Together, we’ve created literally hundreds of commercials, videos, and even award-winning short films. We know how to work together, and how to do so on strict timelines and strict budgets. In fact, here's a sampling of some of those projects:
But it’s not just us. A whole team of creative professionals is helping us make it happen: more than three dozen people, including technical crew, actors, artists, musicians, and more. (You can see that list of people on the Cast and Crew page of our website.)
“Sounds good,” you may be saying now. “But why this film specifically? I mean, there are a ton of films and projects I can back on Kickstarter.”
Indeed there are. And we encourage you to back other projects. We have, and will continue to do so.
Let’s just start by saying: this project isn’t about money. It’s about creative expression.
And what are we expressing? Many things, as hinted at above. This is a story that explores the nature of life, the nature of death, the nature of time, the nature of destiny. A story that explores accepting, or denying, what we are born to do. A story that even explores family dynamics, faith, and quantum mechanics. (There’s even a monologue about Schrödinger’s Box...delivered by Bonni Dichone, an actor who happens to be a PhD and Professor of Applied Mathematics. Mere coincidence? I think not.)
To go along with that, we are actively helping the people in our cast and crew add to their own stories. Remember we said we have more than three dozen people on the team? We’ve given them equity stakes in the film, because we want to honor their commitment to its creation. For instance, DAB Acting, local young filmmakers (age 10-16) who write, produce and direct their own films, are helping us with acting and “behind the scenes” videos. It's a chance for them to pursue their passions, by helping us pursue ours.
So if you’re excited about creative expression, and if you want to be part of a project that tells a unique story, join our team and become a backer. As you can see by our rewards, we have many opportunities for you to be part of the creative process.
“I can dig that. But what about the story? It’s gotta be a good story.”
Jude Allman has died three times. Jude Allman has returned to life three times. Once a celebrity famous for his life-after-death experiences, he’s become a paranoid recluse hiding from his former fame. Now children around him are disappearing, and only Jude has the key to unmasking the killer—wrapped up in the mysteries of his own deaths.
If you’ve read the book (and thank you for doing so), I promise you the movie will be a new experience. If you’ve not read the book, well, I can definitely promise you the movie will be a new experience. Even though both stories have the same general arc, the movie’s plot is more personal.
“And your goal is...$8,888? You can really make a film for $8,888?”
Yes, our goal is a modest $8,888. (Eight is recurring theme in the story.) Sure, it may sound like craziness to think we can make a full feature film for $8,888.
But we don’t think we can make this film for that amount of money. We know we can, because we have the commitment and dedication of stellar cast and crew who have an interest in the film’s ultimate success.
And we'll let you in on a little secret: we've already shot the first 25 minutes of the film. Now, we just need to film some of the more challenging sequences (such as fight scenes), which will require more people on the team.
To give you a taste of what we've captured so far, take a look at the first three minutes of the film--something we like to call the "Death Montage."
Our budget calls for some very basic things: modest stipends to help our cast and crew with travel and other expenses, food/craft service, props/rentals/basic help with post production services (such as sound design and color grading), and a budget for film festival entries/fees and marketing.
The film festival budget item begins the journey toward distribution, and we have some exciting ideas for how that can happen...but that’s a future story. For now, our goal is to finish the film for $8,888 so we can take it to the next stage.
- Cast/Crew Stipends: $3,850
- Craft Service/Food: $2,000
- Rentals, Props, Post Production Services: $2,000
- Film Festivals/Marketing: $1,038
So once again, we bring it back to: you. We've assembled a talented team, and we want to add your talents to the team. Scroll through our rewards, and we're sure we'll find something that's unique and strikes your interest. (Honestly: how many opportunities do you have to be a whispering ghost in a feature film?) We're bringing to life...a film about death. And with your backing, we'll make it an adventure for everyone.
Risks and challenges
Ah, the act of creation itself is always a risk, is it not? There’s a risk we won't raise our targeted funds. And there’s a challenge in creating a full feature film with limited funding and resources. But this is by design. We believe lack of time and lack of resources fuel creativity, because you’re forced to think “outside of the box.” It is what we are challenging ourselves to do with this project...and what we are challenging you to do with us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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